Grafenegg Festival

By Peter Marck

A working weekend in the village!  The orchestra spent its first weekend on tour in the Austrian village of St. Polten, 30 minutes away from the Grafenegg Castle, Vienna’s favorite summer music festival.  The village consists of the Dom and Rathaus squares, the farmers’ market, and a 19th century synagogue. It is one of the quietest places one can imagine a tour weekend.  It will get a bit more exciting in a week when the regional wine and food festival begins.

The drive to the concert venue was through vast fields of corn, past the vineyards of the Wachau wine district then over the Danube River before pulling into the park of the Grafenegg Castle. On the grounds is an outdoor concert shell that has some of the best acoustics in Europe.  The director of the festival, pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, who will open the IPO season in October, greeted the orchestra and will be the soloist with Zubin Mehta in the second concert of the festival. The orchestra performed works by Bruckner, an Austrian favorite, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.  

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Peter Marck joined the IPO in 1976, and since 1979 has been Principal Double Bass.